PRESS RELEASE: Catholics #AskPontifex: What to Do About Fiscal Cliff?

Posted December 12, 2012

Celebrating Benedict XVI’s entry onto Twitter, lay Catholics are asking the Holy Father to weigh in on the crisis in Congress

WASHINGTON – The pope is on Twitter, thanks be to God.

Now, Catholics are taking to the social media powerhouse to ask the Holy Father what he thinks about the stalemate in Washington over the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Catholics United, a lay Catholic social justice advocacy organization, today organized a campaign to tweet questions about economic justice to the pope using the hashtag “#askpontifex,” in reference to Pope Benedict XVI’s chosen Twitter handle, @Pontifex.

“It’s an opportunity for Catholics in the pews to ask for guidance and leadership directly from the pope, and that’s something that’s truly unusual and exciting,” said James Salt, executive director for Catholics United. “We only hope that this action can help bring some humanity and compassion back into the debate. The pope, of all people, knows that we must first consider the poor and marginalized–these least among us–in every political debate. I hope Catholic politicians and people of faith are listening to his response.”


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics Deliver Petition to Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson

Posted November 21, 2012

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This afternoon, lay Catholics delivered a 5,000-signature petition organized by Catholics United Education Fund to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus at their international headquarters. The petition asks the Knights of Columbus to focus on helping the poor and vulnerable and stop using funds on divisive wedge issues like opposing civil same-sex marriage.

According to a report released by Equally Blessed, a Catholic coalition dedicated to fighting for civil marriage equality for LGBT Americans, the fraternal organization and its affiliated insurance company spent more than $6.25 million opposing civil same-sex marriage since 2005. This includes more than $600,000 spent in the last election cycle in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

Recent polls from the Pew Research Center and Gallup show that a majority of Catholics support civil same-sex marriage.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Implores Bishops: Please Stay Out of Partisan Politics

Posted November 21, 2012

More than 25,000 signatures gathered ask bishops to refocus mission on Gospel mandate to serve the poor

BALTIMORE – Catholics United, with its allies at Faithful America, today delivered a petition with more than 25,000 signatures calling on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to refocus their time and energy toward issues of social and economic justice rather than far-right partisan issues.

Exit polling data from the election showed that a majority of Catholics voted to reelect President Obama. Lay Catholics joined in support of the marriage equality referendums that passed in four states while the bishops’ conference was a strong vocal and heavy financial backer against the measures supporting marriage equality. The election results demonstrate the culture war narrative the bishops were pushing failed to convince mainstream Catholics to vote against their values.


PRESS RELEASE: Illinois Bishop Who Compared Obama to Hitler Orders Anti-Obama Letter Be Read at Weekend Masses

Posted November 01, 2012

WASHINGTON – In a letter sent this week to area Catholics, Peoria, Ill., Bishop Daniel Jenky ordered priests in his diocese to read a blistering anti-Obama statement at all upcoming weekend Masses. In addition to comparing Democratic politicians to Roman soldiers who beat and persecuted Jesus Christ, in his statement he implied voting against Mitt Romney in next Tuesday’s election is a grave sin.

Bishop Jenky made international news earlier this year when he compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler and invading jihadists in the Middle Ages.

“What we’re seeing from Bishop Jenky is shocking, but sadly not surprising,” said James Salt, executive director for Catholics United. “The good bishop forgets we no longer live in a theocracy. For the sake of his flock and his IRS status, he would be well advised to cease using the pulpits of his diocese for partisan proclamations.”

Opinion polls show the bishops’ embrace of far-right political causes has the effect of driving younger generations of Catholics away from the faith.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Responds to Diocese of Orlando’s Refusal to Keep Partisan Politics Out of Its Pulpits

Posted October 30, 2012

WASHINGTON – In response to increasing reports of politicization and partisanship from the pulpits, Catholics United last week sent Catholic parishes in Florida a pledge form. This form had a simple goal: stop partisan activity from tarnishing the sanctity of our Catholic churches and places of worship. But, for officials at the Diocese of Orlando, a one-page request to prevent partisanship from occurring in diocesan parishes was a bridge too far.

“The [pledge forms] appear to be an attempt to silence pastors on issues that are of concern to the Church this election season and contrary to the agenda of Catholics United,” said officials in a statement released on the diocesan website Friday. “It is the recommendation of this office that pastors do not sign the pledge.”

If one thing of this statement is true, it’s that Catholics United has an agenda to encourage houses of worship to cease being political rally sites and return to teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United’s Statement on Knights of Columbus Anti-Marriage Equality Spending Report

Posted October 18, 2012

WASHINGTON – Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholics, has released a report that discovered the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization, spent nearly $16 million since 2005 on far-right wing social issues, including $6.25 million opposing civil same-sex marriage. Of this, more than $600,000 has been donated in 2012 alone to anti-marriage equality ballot initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

The report comes immediately on the heels of a Pew Charitable Trust poll which has found a record increase in the number of Americans, roughly one-in-five, who no longer associate with any religion. Leading researchers believe these individuals are abandoning religion over the mixing of religion with right-wing political movements, such as opposition to civil same-sex marriage laws. The Knights of Columbus’ over-emphasis on divisive social issues corresponds with the appointment of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, a former political appointee of President George W. Bush.

The following is a statement from Catholics United’s Executive Director, James Salt:


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics to Paul Ryan: It Takes More Than a Photo-Op to Solve Poverty

Posted October 17, 2012

Congressman Ryan “helps out” at a faith-based soup kitchen in Youngstown to whitewash his devastating budget proposal

CINCINNATI – Last weekend, the Republican vice presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, made an unannounced stop at a northeast Ohio soup kitchen run by the local St. Vincent de Paul Society. In his brief stop, Rep. Ryan set up a photo opportunity: he rolled up his sleeves and got to work cleaning a few pots and pans and quickly met the remaining patrons served by the establishment. The clicking cameras of the press pool captured every moment depicting Congressman Ryan serving the less fortunate.

But, sadly, it was all for show.

The charity’s president, Brian Antal, said the entire event was an after hours political stunt, the candidate “ramrodded” himself and his staff into the situation and ultimately brought partisanship into a place where it didn’t belong.

“It’s a statute of 501(c)(3) (law) that we don’t get involved in politics,” Antal said. “(We’re) a faith-based organization.”


Keeping the Politics Out of Our Pulpits

Posted October 04, 2012

As the election season heats up, more and more pastors are attempting to inject partisan politics into our houses of worship. In order to help maintain the sacredness of our sanctuaries, Catholics United is sponsoring a campaign aimed at asking our pastors and bishops to refrain from using churches for partisan activity this election cycle.

We are looking for Catholics and people of faith to help us circulate this pledge and present it to your pastor and bishop for them to sign.

Your can download the pledge here!

Once you've gotten your pastor or bishop to sign this pledge, mail it to:
Catholics United Education Fund
PO Box 33524
Washington, DC 20033

If you are interested in getting more involved, send us an email here at info@catholics-united.org or give us a call at 202-903-0856.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United’s Executive Director Responds to Archbishop Myers’ Pastoral Letter on Marriage

Posted September 25, 2012

WASHINGTON – Today, Archbishop John J. Myers of the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., released a 16-page statement on the archdiocesan website and participated in local media interviews, decrying public support for civil same-sex marriage equality, comparing it to incest. Archbishop Myers went on to say those who disagree with his views on marriage rights should refrain from participating in Holy Communion. A summary of the pastoral letter will be distributed this Sunday at Catholic churches.

Archbishop Myers’ actions reflect a growing reality that the American bishops’ far-right politics are driving an increasing number of Catholics away from the faith. In late 2011, the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., commissioned a survey of nearly 300 fallen-away Catholics. Among the “take-aways” from the survey, according to survey authors Fr. William J. Byron, S.J., and Dr. Charles Zech, are that many fallen-away Catholics perceive that gays and lesbians “are unwelcome in the church,” leading to a rift with the faith.


PRESS RELEASE: New York Times Editorial Validates Catholics United’s Work Defending Church Sanctuaries from Partisan Politics

Posted September 20, 2012

In response to intensifying political activity from the pulpit, Catholics United takes action

WASHINGTON – Catholics United, along with Faithful America, last week delivered a petition of more than 27,000 signatures calling on Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to set straight an Upper East Side parish which printed bulletin remarks endorsing Mitt Romney for president. Soon after, the church issued an apology and The New York Times columnist Jim Dwyer wrote a piece covering the story.

Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League, wrote a press release smearing Catholics United, Faithful America and The New York Times for attempting to keep partisanship out of the pulpit. In response to the entire debacle, the Times wrote an editorial urging vigilance in the fight to keep churches free of partisan activity.